ASSOCIATED PRESS: Jurors in a landmark church sex-abuse trial were presented with documents Tuesday outlining the troubled clerical career of a priest who was convicted of child pornography charges yet remained in ministry for years despite similar and repeated complaints. Prosecutors presented years of correspondence from mental health facilities, therapists and church officials regarding Edward DePaoli when he was a priest. The documents, kept in the archdiocese’s secret archives, outlined how DePaoli, after being convicted in federal court of child pornography charges in 1986, went through psychological treatment, rounds of therapy, and a half dozen church assignments for two decades before he was removed from the priesthood in 2005.
Doctor reports in December 1986 warned that DePaoli “is likely to repeat his past behavior and to become progressively worse … he could go beyond fantasy (regarding) his sexual fantasies towards children” and he was “in need of extensive psychological work.” Instead, DePaoli was transferred out of the Philadelphia archdiocese to St. John Vianney Church in Colonia, N.J., for three years. In 1991, he returned to Philadelphia as associate pastor at Saint John the Baptist Church. In 1992, priests reported DePaoli was again receiving pornography in the mail and parishioners reported that he made inappropriate comments at a children’s Mass about imagining an 8th grade girl naked. A nun testified Monday that she was fired from her job as director of education at St. Gabriel’s in 1996 after she reported to then-Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua about sexually explicit magazines and other mail arriving for DePaoli shortly after his arrival there. MORE